Today’s word is hope.
Not the kind of feel-good hope that has been characteristic of the last few posts. Hope as in the “here’s hoping…” kind of hope.
My arm hurts.
“Why does your arm hurt?” you ask.
My arm hurts because I got the flu shot today.
Now, before I go any further, let me just back up for a second. I have never been one to get the flu shot. I always refused, stating vehemently and with a certain level of pride that I had never gotten the flu shot, and I had never gotten the flu. It was not something that was ever on my radar.
Jake is not medically fragile by any means. He is, however, susceptible to more than the typical kid. And when he does get sick, he is prone to get sicker than many other children, and have a harder time recovering. Much of this is due to having extremely small airways and passageways, which when sick get even smaller and let even less air and oxygen into his body. Because of Jake, I have changed my tune on getting the flu shot, desiring to do anything possible to help keep him healthy through the winter months.
Last year I had every intention of getting the flu shot for me and my kiddos. One thing led to another, however, and laziness and apathy took over. Fall was a busy season. Then the Christmas season was upon us (for those of you who may not know, I start celebrating the Christmas season extremely early, so it was a long season to enjoy!). With the termination of Christmas came New Years. And then it happened. Jake got sick. Then he got sicker. And sicker. Long story short, we ended up being admitted to the hospital for almost a week with pneumonia, coming home on oxygen, and being admitted again a few weeks later. By the time he was well enough to get the flu shot administered to him, the entire province of Alberta had run out.
Last year was awful, and I have no desire to relive that again this year. So when the flu shots came out early last week, I was on the phone, finding out when and where the clinics were being held. And today was the day. I picked Jake up from school, drove over to the clinic, and took all three of my children through the process of getting their flu shots.
And people were looking at me like I was crazy.
Granted, my children were not on their best behavior. It was almost nap time, and they were tired and hungry. Noah and Jake were in the stroller, and Cole was walking beside me. Jake, however, kept squirming out from under the bar, and trying to escape. Every time I grabbed him, he would whine and flop himself on the floor. Cole was running around like a crazy person, pushing all the barriers, chairs, and garbage cans he could find, and being utterly and outright defiant. Noah was great until he got his shot, but then he started crying and wouldn’t stop. Jake had a meltdown because I wouldn’t let him play on my phone, and then when I took it away from Cole to give to Jake, it was Cole’s turn for a meltdown. Like, a bloodcurdling, screaming fit, which if you were an innocent bystander you would have thought was because the nurse was giving him the vaccine, but in reality was because I took away the phone.
We had to stay for 15 minutes after the vaccine was administered, and I swear it was the longest 15 minutes of my life. Jake and Cole took turns in the stroller, and whoever was in the stroller got the phone. I had to entertain the other one, attempting tickling, singing songs, chasing them around the room, and getting them to throw random objects in the garbage for me. And I saw it. I saw the stares. I saw the whispers. I saw the shy little smiles when I looked at those around me. They were all thinking it…that woman is crazy!
And maybe I am crazy for attempting to take my 3 year old with Down syndrome, 2 year old, and 7 month old for flu shots. But here’s hoping that it works, and we don’t end up in the hospital as much as we were last year.
And if there is any possibility of hoping for health this winter, then I say, “bring on the crazy”!!
*I did not take any pictures during the ordeal today, as I was trying to keep my sanity and to not lose my children! So instead, here are just a couple cute pictures of my kids, being crazy, taking selfies when I didn’t know they had my phone!*